Israel is the smell of lavender laundry detergent wafting in the breeze.
Israel is the sounds of ambulances and horns honking and the occasional ‘Get out of my way!” erupting from a car window.
Israel is caffe hafuch chazak and tea with nana leaves, hot water, and honey. Israel is Coke Zero but not Diet Coke.
Israel is yelling but not being angry and talking loud but laughing your face off.
Israel is meeting your neighbors for the first time in the building’s safe room or stairwell.
Israel is waving an Israeli flag no matter what side of the political spectrum you lean on because we’re all fighting for a better country.
Israel is needing to leave the land, but returning as soon as the country needs us.
Israel is telling your young children why the sirens are going off constantly and teaching them not to be scared.
Israel is making friends with anyone who even remotely speaks Hebrew in the Mayan ruins, the peaks of Mt. Everest, or the food stalls of Vietnam.
Israel is grown men crying and mothers of 10 fighting off terrorists.
Israel is fighting with a volunteer coordinator at the blood drive because you’ve been waiting behind hundreds of donors and they ran out of supplies. Israel is rushing to volunteer but always getting shut out because too many people showed up.
Israel is offering to watch kids whose parent was sent on reserve duty. Israel is donating breast milk to babies whose mothers were sent on reserve duty.
Israel is picking up the pieces, no matter how hard, because it is the right thing to do.
Israel is coming together, in broken English, to explain to the world why Israel deserves to defend itself. Israel is using your native English to translate survivor stories so they will believe us.
Israel is waking up in the morning to horrible news, taking your army uniform out of storage, kissing your family, and running towards danger.
Israel is doing anything you can do to save innocent lives despite the consequences.
Israel is knowing that your beloved soldier has had to turn their phone off and not knowing what their fate is.
Israel is thousands of people showing up for funerals of people they never met. Israel is doing a shiva call for families of murdered youth who don’t have anyone to console them.
Israel is politicians criticizing the media for one-sided news coverage and not apologizing for it at all.
Israel is cooking fresh, warm food for those who have nothing and doing it for days so they never go without.
Israel is high-techistim taking time off work to help a farmer in the south harvest his crops.
Israel is restaurants making their kitchens kosher so they can serve food to more people.
Israel is donating money to your cousin’s army unit, your school’s food drive, your company’s aid fund and still buying boxes of dried food to put in the donation box outside your supermarket.
Israel is asking for help from friends, neighbors, and allies without hesitation. Israel is checking in on your friends to see how they’re doing, even if you are struggling yourself.
Israel is Jews, Christians and Muslims all praying in their own way for peace.
Israel is here, and it’s not going anywhere. Am Yisrael Chai.